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Indonesia: Constitutional Court Upholds Blasphemy Law

(Apr. 22, 2010) On April 19, 2010, the Constitutional Court of Indonesia held that a 1965 blasphemy law does not contravene the Constitution and is necessary to ensure public order and religious harmony. The judges found that a request that the law be revised or annulled by the Court had “no legal base,” although they […]

Tonga: Royal Commission Report on Princess Ashika Ferry Disaster

(Apr. 19, 2010) The Tongan government stated on April 9, 2010, that it accepts the recommendations of the Royal Commission that was established to inquire into the August 2009 sinking of the Princess Ashika ferry in which 74 people were killed. (Press Release, Government of Tonga, Statement on Ashika Royal Commission Report (Apr. 9, 2010), […]

Fiji: New Media Decree to Be Finalized Following Consultation

(Apr. 7, 2010) On March 30, 2010, the interim government of Fiji announced plans to hold consultation sessions between April 7 and April 10 as it seeks to finalize the Media Industry Development Decree 2010. (Press Release, International Federation of Journalists [IFJ], IFJ Welcomes Entry of Media on Fiji Consultation (Apr. 4, 2010), available at […]

Australia: Bill Establishing Independent National Security Legislation Monitor Passed

(Mar. 24, 2010) The Independent National Security Legislation Monitor Bill 2010 was passed by the Australian Parliament on March 18, 2010. The bill establishes a new position of National Security Legislation Monitor, with responsibility for reviewing and reporting on the “operation, effectiveness and implications of Australia's counter-terrorism and national security legislation on an ongoing basis,” […]

Solomon Islands: Truth and Reconciliation Commission to Commence Hearings

(Mar. 10, 2010) On March 5, 2010, it was reported that the first public hearings of the Solomon Islands Truth and Reconciliation Commission would take place beginning March 9, 2010. (First TRC Public Hearing Next Week, SOLOMON TIMES, Mar. 5, 2010, available at The Commission was officially established by the government in April 2009. […]

Nauru: Majority of Voters Reject Changes to Constitution

(Mar. 3, 2010) On March 1, 2010, it was reported that two-thirds of the voters in Nauru had voted against proposed changes to the island nation's constitution in a referendum that was held on February 27, 2010. (Nauruans Vote Against Proposed Constitution Amendments, PACIFIC ISLANDS NEWS ASSOCIATION (PINA), Mar. 1, 2010, available at The […]

New Zealand: Government Releases Electoral Finance Reform Proposals

(Feb. 18, 2010) On February 16, 2010, the New Zealand government announced plans to introduce new legislation to amend the rules relating to campaign finance and spending on election advertising. (Press Release, Hon. Simon Power, Electoral Finance Reform Package Announced (Feb. 16, 2010), available at The rules have been the subject of considerable controversy […]

Australia: Court Finds Internet Provider Not Responsible for Illegal Downloads

(Feb. 12, 2010) On February 4, 2010, in what is being called a “landmark judgment” that has possible international ramifications, the Federal Court of Australia ruled against a number of major Hollywood film studios in finding that an Internet service provider (ISP) was not liable for the copyright breaches of its customers. The judge noted […]

Australia: Securities Regulator to Have Greater Powers, Tougher Penalties

(Feb. 3, 2010) On January 28, 2010, the Australian federal government announced plans to increase the maximum penalties that can be imposed for market misconduct. The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) will also have greater powers to investigate and prosecute market offenses. (Press Release, Hon. Chris Bowen, Greater Powers to the Corporate Regulator to […]

New Zealand: “Three-Strikes” Law To Be Introduced

(Jan. 22, 2010) On January 19, 2010, New Zealand's National Party government announced that it had reached an agreement with one of its coalition partners on a policy that will make repeat violent offenders ineligible for parole if they are convicted of their third serious offense. (Press Release, Judith Collins, National and ACT Agree to […]